The first stage in the wine making process is to crush the grapes. In days gone by the grapes would be loaded into a large vat and the wine maker(s) would gently tread on them to break the grapes' skins to release the juice. Nowadays this procedure is almost invariably carried out using a machine called, unsurprisingly, a crusher. In the case of white wines, after crushing, the juice is separated immediately from the pulp of skins and stalks and fermentation commences. When making red wines, the juice is allowed to remain in contact with the crushed pulp for a while to add color, body and flavor to the 'must' (the juice to be fermented).
Most modern wines are fermented at a relatively low temperature, which results in wine with a fruity character. White wines are commonly made in large, cooled, stainless steel containers but some better quality wines are fermented in oak casks or, alternatively, oak chippings may be added to the must. Red and rosa wines are usually produced in stainless steel vats or, sometimes, in oak. When the fermenting wine has reached the required color intensity, the liquid is drawn from the vessel, leaving behind the crushed skins and stalks. Before bottling, wines from different batches may be blended together and matured.
Depending on the type of wine, the length of this maturation process can be measured in anything from days to years. If an "oaky" flavor is desired then the wine can be matured in oak barrels. New oak or old oak barrels can be used depending on the final flavor required. Even after bottling, the flavor of some quality wines will continue to evolve, albeit at a slower rate. However nowadays, most wines, even expensive wines, are ready for drinking soon after bottling. Some people collect wine for money and some people collect wine because they have a passion for wine.
Irregardless of whether youre collecting wine for profit or for pleasure, collecting wine requires some investment. Enjoying wine is a completely different thing from collecting wine, bear this in mind. When it comes to collecting wine, one of the most important thing to consider is where youre going to keep the wine. A substantial portion of your investment towards your wine collection hobby is in ensuring that theres a suitable place to store your wine. The motive is to ensure that the wine collection will increase in value, not decrease. Believe it or not, the storage and the way the wine is kept make a world of difference.
Wine that is kept, collected and protected in suitable condition will age nicely and will turn into vintage wines. However, if your wine collection is not properly cared for, well, youll know. The quality of the wine collection will deteriorate and a wine expert will be able to tell that your wine has been ill-treated.
First of all, do extensive research on the many different types of wines there are in the market. Some wines are meant to be kept and stored over a long period of time, some are not. Books on wine collection should be bought and if youre at all serious about wine collection, spend some time reading through them and understand the different types of wines and the way that they should be kept. If keeping and reading books on wine is not your glass of wine, you can do your research on the internet. Either way, theres a wealth of information on wine that you can find.
Explore, absorb and remember.
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